The decision to build a power station is directly linked to the anticipated growth in demand for electricity. A utility must also take into account the fact that it takes about 10 years to complete a hydroelectric development.
See the main stages in the construction of the Eastmain-1 hydroelectric development.
Hydroelectric facilities are generally designed to last 50 to 60 years. Regular maintenance can prolong the service life of a dam or power plant. But after a while, maintenance is not enough: the facility needs to be restored. Sometimes, it's more cost-effective to modernize a plant than to build a new one, as is the case with Beauharnois hydroelectric generating station. In other cases, it is preferable to start from scratch, as with the new facility (Rocher-de-Grand-Mère generating station) that was built next to Grand-Mère generating station.
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